Why Doesn’t My Sea Freight Quote Include Duty & VAT?

When you request a sea freight quote, we like to provide one all-inclusive quote from door-to-door - however, that quote excludes UK Duty + VAT. Here's why.

When you’re importing from China to the UK, you want to get all your costs predicted and budgeted for from the get-go. Transportation can be the largest cost, so you need to know upfront so that you can make an informed decision about whether sea freight is viable for you. However, when you request a quote for sea freight, your UK Duty and VAT isn’t included in it.

A lot of people find this confusing; after all, how is a quote inclusive if it doesn’t include one of the largest charges in the process?

Today, we’re explaining to you why this charge isn’t included – and how you can predict it.

  • Why Your Quote Doesn't Include UK Duty + VAT

    Short answer: your quote doesn’t include UK Duty + VAT because UK Duty + VAT is not charged by us; it’s charged by HMRC.

    UK Duty + VAT is a tax charged on imports; it’s collected by the government when your goods clear through Customs, or they won’t be released. The rates and cost of your UK Duty + VAT will differ depending on what goods you’re importing and their country of origin.

    Although we can pay HMRC on your behalf and we can help you predict the UK Duty + VAT pretty accurately, we cannot 100% control the costs. If your goods are held at Customs or subject to testing (which is often unpredictable) you can be charged extra for this too. As all of these things are controlled by a third party – and the money goes to the government, not our pockets – we don’t include it as a part of our quote.

  • Let Us Help You Predict Your Costs

    Although we don’t include it as part of our quote, we can help you predict your UK Duty + VAT costs; in fact, with all of our years of experience, we’re pretty good at it! We’ve already written posts dedicated to helping you find out how much you’ll be paying Customs that you can use to help you figure out your costs:

    Duty and VAT Estimator
    How To Find Your Product’s Commodity Code On The UK Trade Tariff
    We’re also happy for customers to call us and ask us to help them predict their UK Duty + VAT costs, so don’t hesitate to get some extra assisstance! Hopefully this post was helpful and allowed you to understand why our quotes don’t include UK Duty + VAT.
    If you are importing via sea freight and you want some help, feel free to contact us or get a free quote!

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